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Wolfpack Ram

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The city I live in has staked it’s entire growth strategy on developing stadium projects for minor league teams (baseball, gleague, hockey, arena football),an MLS franchise and the HQs for an NFL team and the PGA. They have done it through true private-public partnership, whereby developers had to commit to providing public works projects like schools and the facilities owners had to be make them available for local HS athletes (competitions and practices in the case of the PGA). End result is there are endless professional sports activities to choose from for families, the high school athletes benefit, we have a surplus of schools facilities and excess low-use green space….wins all around for a city that is multicultural, has one of the most productive tax bases in the state and has highly rated schools. It absolutely can be done, if the private-public partnership targets very specific public benefits that are growth oriented (education, commercial, medical, technical, etc…). Apologies to the housing advocates, but affordable housing initiatives rarely pay back and come with many regulations, so developers won’t commit.

Well, the City of Richmond owns a multi-million dollar football practice facility that's not being used by anyone, including high school teams. :roll: :lol: Yet another example of the City of Richmond government messing up a one car funeral.
 

Wolfpack Ram

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here is an article regarding the Gwinnett, Ga experience with their stadium built for the our Old Braves AAA team (and yes I am sure there maybe one or two that might of had more positive results)


in case you cannot launch

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Bitter recrimination was the order of the day when the Richmond Braves ball club lit out for Gwinnett, Ga., four years ago. The AAA team had demanded a replacement for its aging ballpark, The Diamond, and local officials hadn't come through. The city and surrounding counties were denounced as the gang that couldn't shoot straight.
Now it's beginning to look like they dodged a bullet.
County leaders in Gwinnett lured the Braves from Richmond by borrowing millions to build the team a spanking-new stadium. Residents were ecstatic over what the Gwinnett Daily Post termed the fulfillment of "Gwinnett's dream." A study plumped Gwinnett as "an ideal location" and "one of the strongest markets in the country" for a minor-league club. The paper said surveys showed "overwhelming support" for the proposal.
But the bloom, as they say, is off the rose.
Indeed, disillusionment set in almost immediately. A consultant's study had pitched a stadium costing $25 million to $30 million. The price soon climbed to $45 million. By the time construction was complete, the cost had jumped to $64 million.

That wasn't the only sticker shock. "G-Braves Ticket Prices Steep," ran a 2008 story in the Daily Post. "Even the cheapest section of the Braves' season tickets cost more than what fans are paying for the most expensive seats in the team's final season in Richmond," the paper reported. Fans, it said, were not pleased.
Perhaps because of those steep ticket prices, attendance has fallen short of projections. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the team was supposed to average more than 6,000 fans per game. Actual attendance: 4,800 in 2010 and 5,000 in 2011, when the Braves ranked "24th out of 30 AAA teams in average attendance." At a typical game, less than half the stadium seats are filled.
But then, the grand design was not merely to provide entertainment for the masses. Luring the Braves to Gwinnett was supposed to bring a fresh stream of revenue to county coffers and light a private-sector spark that would ignite a brushfire of ancillary development. Neither has happened.
"Gwinnett Braves Parking Revenue Falls Short of County Expectations," the Atlanta paper headlined in 2009. Gwinnett charges a stadium parking fee of $3 per car or truck, and $10 per bus. "The county, which had predicted $200,000 in revenue from parking proceeds this year, has received slightly more than $31,000."
Three years later, the story hasn't changed. "Gwinnett officials said the stadium would pay for itself," noted the AJC in September. Yet "they later approved a 3 percent car-rental tax to help repay" the stadium debt. What's more, "even that might not be enough: An AJC investigation last year showed the tax—along with parking, rent and other stadium revenue—won't be enough to cover the debt when principal payments begin in 2014."
But what about all the fancy development? Plans originally called for 300 hotel rooms, 600 residences, more than 300,000 square feet of retail space and twice that much office space. As of last month, the principal developer had broken ground on fewer than 250 apartments—and was so discouraged he wanted to sell part of his holdings to another developer who would build more apartments.
County officials said no. For one thing, nearby homeowners worried about the effect on their property values: "They said they were promised an upscale commercial area," writes the AJC, "not apartments and car washes." Besides, Gwinnett officials "say the original plans are worth waiting for." The chairman of the county planning commission admits the original vision "may not be viable at the moment, but I think it was a good plan originally."
In Gwinnett's defense, the stadium was being completed right around the time the economy—and the real-estate market in particular—was imploding. High unemployment and high anxiety drive down spending, especially on entertainment. Gwinnett's investment could turn to gold once the economy fully rebounds.
But history suggests otherwise. Economists, who usually disagree about nearly everything, are united on one point: Public subsidies for sports stadiums are win-lose propositions: The teams win, and the taxpayers lose.
There may be non-economic benefits to hosting professional ball clubs, such as civic pride or a sense of regional identity. But the consultants' reports never make that point. They never say: "The stadium will be a money-loser, but at least you'll feel good about yourself." Instead, they routinely sell stadiums as almost miraculous economic cornucopias.
Gwinnett is providing an object lesson in the virtue of reading those reports with a grain of salt.
NEXT: Treasury Could Use "Emergency Tools" To Keep Borrowing in Early 2013
A. BARTON HINKLE is senior editorial writer and a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
POLICYECONOMICSSUBSIDIESSPORTSGEORGIACORPORATE WELFARE
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Show Comments (43)

Gwinnett, GA is also less than 35 miles from the Atlanta Braves' new stadium. I'm sure that has played a major impact on attendance in Gwinnett.
 
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Yes, until the counties pulled out and turned the Diamond over to the City of Richmond. The counties got tired of dealing with the City of Richmond government.
Gwinnett, GA is also less than 35 miles from the Atlanta Braves' new stadium. I'm sure that has played a major impact on attendance in Gwinnett.
we understand that - I thought using an example of a team leaving richmond would be illustrative of the reality that these stadium require anywhere from a 50 to 80% local subsidy to make numbers work -
most localities will tell you they never achieve additional new tax revenues from the stadium to come anywhere close to paying for the 50-80% they subsidize - most cities don't like to release data and information on these baseball deals (just not pretty information to tell taxpayers no matter how well or poorly a city/county government operates)

and yes the squirrels ownership has indicated they will pay a rent of $1million annually (not sure if it is guaranteed for 30 years or what)
but let us assume it is fully guaranteed

a $1 million dollar annual rent would support roughly $15 million of costs financed over 30 years at a 6% interest rate (doubt Squirrels could get a rate that good)
I understand the stadium will cost around $60 million not including the value of the land the city would be expected to
donate

so basically you want the city to pick up 75% of the costs, finance the project with city debt capacity (limited asset) and donate land worth $10 million or more and maybe some road improvements etc

and hope they get new revenues from meal tax, sales tax and occupancy tax or the surrouding area gets so built up that new tax revenues from that development will be so much to help city to break even without having to divert existing tax revenues

all while the owners make a whole lot of money themselves and the value of their franchise grows ('business is business" - i understand and sports ownership is big business)

off to go see the Nationals play St Louis (thank you DC taxpayers)
 

PhantomRam

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Of all of the cities on the east coast similar in size of Richmond, the City of Richmond has to be the most bass ackwards city of them all. And that's why cities like Raleigh and Charlotte are leaving RVA in the dust.
Charlotte did it the right way. They invested in infrastructure mainly building a world class airport and where Piedmont and later USAir made it a major hub. Business followed mainly the banking/financial headquarters that Richmond could have had. Stadiums and sports teams are the byproduct of that investment. To think, Richmond was probably head and shoulders above Charlotte up until the late 60's.

The next city to leave Richmond in the dust will be Greenville SC even though some of that has stalled lately.
 

VCU Heel

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Charlotte did it the right way. They invested in infrastructure mainly building a world class airport and where Piedmont and later USAir made it a major hub. Business followed mainly the banking/financial headquarters that Richmond could have had. Stadiums and sports teams are the byproduct of that investment. To think, Richmond was probably head and shoulders above Charlotte up until the late 60's.
Charlotte was able to annex so much territory that Richmond wasn’t able to do because of Virginia’s different laws.
 

PhantomRam

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Charlotte was able to annex so much territory that Richmond wasn’t able to do because of Virginia’s different laws.
Agree, but does not excuse the lack of regional cooperation in this area. I don't care if the counties don't want to work with Richmond (as Wolfpack has pointed out), or vice versa. It's all for the betterment of this region if we cooperate. Maybe my view is too simplistic.
 

Wolfpack Ram

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Charlotte was able to annex so much territory that Richmond wasn’t able to do because of Virginia’s different laws.

Charlotte exploded when Piedmont Airlines decided to make Charlotte its national hub versus Richmond. US Air later buying out Piedmont and keeping Charlotte a a major hub was icing on the cake.

And believe me when I say Piedmont choosing Charlotte over Richmond had a lasting negative impact on Richmond in many ways, including VCU basketball. When the Metro Conference broke apart, the last Metro school that C-USA took was Charlotte over VCU. The deciding factor was ease of access to Charlotte through direct flights vs. having to connect in order to get to/from Richmond. And that's how VCU ended up in the CAA.
 
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Charlotte exploded when Piedmont Airlines decided to make Charlotte its national hub versus Richmond. US Air later buying out Piedmont and keeping Charlotte a a major hub was icing on the cake.

And believe me when I say Piedmont choosing Charlotte over Richmond had a lasting negative impact on Richmond in many ways, including VCU basketball. When the Metro Conference broke apart, the last Metro school that C-USA took was Charlotte over VCU. The deciding factor was ease of access to Charlotte through direct flights vs. having to connect in order to get to/from Richmond. And that's how VCU ended up in the CAA.
bingo!!

as well as the slow roll in the Commonwealth on changing banking regulations that led to all the Richmond headquartered banks moving or being merged into Charlotte or Atlanta banking headquartered organizations

that was the death knell for the money that supported so many Richmond area cultural activities and philanthropic organizations
 
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Regarding a minor-league team's financial impact, consider: 95 percent of Squirrels' fans totally plan to eat at the ballpark - generally twice; main course in first three innings; dessert around the sixth ... then they go straight home (usually long before game is over) to the suburbs. It's not a bunch of cool singles looking to hit the town in post-game celebration ... also, a scant percentage of Diamond customers stay overnight in hotels, buy gas in the city, hit the Scott's Edition clubs or contribute in any other way other than purchasing a ticket (and concessional stand grub. of course).
 

rammad90

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Gwinnett, GA is also less than 35 miles from the Atlanta Braves' new stadium. I'm sure that has played a major impact on attendance in Gwinnett.
Not really. The Atlanta metro area is actually geographically diverse. The MSA has 11 counties and the city of Atlanta. The area is huge the traffic is really bad, it takes at least an hour to get to the ball park from Gwinnett and surrounding counties.

Also, its a different product at a different price point.

Yeah The Stripers may be losing a few fans because the Parent club is within an hour. However, I am sure that amount is pretty minimal.
 

Ramlove81

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Not really. The Atlanta metro area is actually geographically diverse. The MSA has 11 counties and the city of Atlanta. The area is huge the traffic is really bad, it takes at least an hour to get to the ball park from Gwinnett and surrounding counties.

Also, its a different product at a different price point.

Yeah The Stripers may be losing a few fans because the Parent club is within an hour. However, I am sure that amount is pretty minimal.
Similar situation around Baltimore and here in Dayton. Abingdon minor league team is attractive to many, less traffic, lower priced tickets, great place to take kids and it's only 25 miles away from Camden Yards. The Dayton Dragons are 60 miles north of the parent Reds. Same kind of deal. Lots of Reds fans around here, but a lot of folks go to the Dragons. Same reasons. Of course it doesn't hurt the minor league teams when the parent club is really, really bad, like the Orioles and Reds.
Minor league baseball allow you to take the family "out to the ball game" for a lot less then going to the big leagues.
 

Ramdog

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bingo!!

as well as the slow roll in the Commonwealth on changing banking regulations that led to all the Richmond headquartered banks moving or being merged into Charlotte or Atlanta banking headquartered organizations

that was the death knell for the money that supported so many Richmond area cultural activities and philanthropic organizations
Yea but Richmond built 6th street market place…so we had that going for us.

Richmond has a serious problem with crime while Virginia Beach is the safest large city in the country

wonder what the difference is?
 
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